The Hidden Fires

‘Only rarely does one read a book whose quality of distinction is immediately apparent from the first page; Merryn Glover’s The Hidden Fires is not just brave, it is remarkable. Her writing comes at you out of the rock; it recalls some splendid cave painting, telling as much of man as of beast and leaving us in awe of each.’ Sir John Lister-Kaye, FRSGS, OBE

For Events see below.

Elemental, fierce and full of wonder, the Cairngorm mountains are the high and rocky heart of Scotland. To know them would take forever, to love them demands a kind of courageous surrender.

In The Hidden Fires, Merryn Glover undertakes that challenge with Nan Shepherd as companion and guiding light. Following in the footsteps and contours of The Living Mountain, she explores the same landscapes and themes as Shepherd’s seminal work. This is a journey separated by time but unified by space and purpose, a conversation between two women across nearly a century that explores how entering the life of a mountain can illuminate our own. An Australian who grew up in the Himalayas, her early experiences of the Scottish hills and weather left her cold. But gradually acclimatising and with an approach like Shepherd’s, that is more mountain wandering than mountaineering, she discovers the spark that sets the hills and herself on fire. Through Glover’s deepening encounter, the wild majesty and iridescence of the Cairngorms is revealed in this beautiful evocation of landscape, place and identity.

Hidden Fires is a book about homecoming and homemaking, of noticing and belonging. It is a joyous celebration of the process of finding yourself.’ Kerri Andrews, author of Wanderers: A History of Women Walking

‘This book, redolent with the presence of Nan Shepherd will captivate lovers of The Living Mountain, bringing to the physical, philosophical and literary landscapes Glover describes, both a sense of welcome familiarity and a set of new and joyous insights.’ Esther Woolfson, author of Between Light and Storm

‘Glover writes so well about mountains.’ David Robinson, The Scotsman, Ones to Watch in 2023

The Hidden Fires is out with Polygon 2nd March 2023. Available for pre-order now.


Wed 8th Feb, 7pm GMT, The Making of The Hidden Fires. Merryn will deliver an online talk with images, hosted by Badenoch Heritage. Free. For Zoom link, email by 7th Feb.

Friday 17th Feb 7pm, Happy 130th Birthday Nan Shepherd! A celebration of the life and legacy of Nan Shepherd with several speakers: authors Merryn Glover, Kerri Andrews & Anna Fleming; artist Rose Strang; Shepherd’s executor and friend, Erlend Clouston. In-person event at the Scottish Poetry Library, £10.

Saturday 25th Feb, 8pm, Official launch of The Hidden Fires: A Cairngorms Journey with Nan Shepherd. An evening of conversation, images, music, refreshments and celebration at the beautiful Ptarmigan Dome beside Loch Insh, Kincraig. Merryn will be interviewed by ‘Cairngorms Wanderer’ Neil Reid as well as sharing images of the Cairngorms. There will also be live music from Strathspey folk musician, Hamish Napier. £5, redeemable against purchase of the book.